I've been wondering recently about how people simply vanish from our lives and how we vanish from other peoples' lives--all this vanishing while we're still alive. So far I've thought of two reasons.
There is the pace of modern living which makes intimacy difficult in spite of emailing; we just can't, we feel, spend or take the time it takes to grow a relationship. More recently I've thought we vanish from each other's lives when we can no longer be playful together. Put another way, our games have become finite (winners and losers) -- as if we have lost touch with a playfulness which is infinite, where the goal of the play is to just keep on playing and where we change the rules to make this happen.
I think, Toby, that we have not lost touch with our playfulness. But we have let fear get in the way. When we set the fear aside, and we can, we can play forever. This infinite game is what keeps us pulsing with life and longing.
Like a child, you go toward the pleasure and the play leaving the fear behind for a while. I think it comes naturally for a child but as adults we must learn the childhood trick of putting our fear aside so we can play. It's something akin to taking a deep breath and diving in and trusting that you will burst through the surface gulping for air. Then you play.
Yes, this is trusting. Trusting the game. Trusting the players. Trusting yourself. Without it you can't play. You become too burdened with doubt. Do you remember your response to being invited to play a game with your peers as a child? The response was joy and glee and the game began. As adults we think things to death. Why does she want to play with me? What If I'm not good at the game? Are there ulterior motives? Can I afford this emotionally? Will it take a toll on me? Will I like it too much? Will I be disappointed? And it goes on and on. And all the mind games destroy the playfulness. The playfulness is joy. We grown-ups have to learn to re-capture it. Or else, no more fun. And that would be sad. Don't you think?